My brake lights aren't working?

Tiny
BHAMSLAMPOET
  • MEMBER
  • 1999 CHEVROLET LUMINA
The brake lights in my car aren't working. My husband replaced all the light bulbs for the tail lights in my car, but when I put my foot on the brake pedal, the brake lights don't light up and there is no way to tell that I've put my foot on the brakes. I have a third light in my car, at the back dashboard, at the back windshield, on the inside of the car, and it lights up when I put my foot on the brake. But the tail lights of my car don't light up when I put my foot on the brake. I was wondering if you might know if this may be a wiring problem or electrical problem, or any other reason why my brake lights aren't lighting up when I put my foot on the brake? Thanks for your help.
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Tuesday, October 6th, 2009 AT 8:29 AM

48 Replies

Tiny
JDL
  • EXPERT
Welcome to the forum, The high-mount brake lights are wired differently than the lower brake lites. The lower brake lights and tunr signal use the same bulb filament just not at the same time. If the turn signals work ok, then the wiring circuit from the multifunction switch should be ok. There may be an issue with the multifunction switch?

This guide should help us fix it

https://www.2carpros.com/articles/brake-lights-not-working

Please run down this guide and report back.
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Tuesday, October 6th, 2009 AT 9:06 AM
Tiny
BHAMSLAMPOET
  • MEMBER
OK, thanks for replying to my question and letting me know! The turn signal lights are working OK. I will see if my husband can check the multifunction switch.

Thanks for your help!
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Tuesday, October 6th, 2009 AT 9:28 AM
Tiny
COWBOY333
  • MEMBER
  • 1999 CHEVROLET LUMINA
  • 6 CYL
  • FWD
  • AUTOMATIC
  • 147,000 MILES
What is a multifunction switch? How do you replace it?
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Saturday, August 15th, 2020 AT 11:11 AM (Merged)
Tiny
BLUELIGHTNIN6
  • EXPERT
Multifunction switch is the switch used to control the turn signals, wipers etc. May want to inspect brake lamp switch if brake lamps are not working. It is located on brake pedal arm bracket.
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Saturday, August 15th, 2020 AT 11:11 AM (Merged)
Tiny
THANE
  • MEMBER
  • 1999 CHEVROLET LUMINA
  • 4 CYL
  • FWD
  • AUTOMATIC
  • 155,000 MILES
Brake lights in tail lights are out but the upper one works. Changed bulbs and fuses.
Turn signals working but have sometimes not worked then start working again on their own.
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Saturday, August 15th, 2020 AT 11:11 AM (Merged)
Tiny
JDL
  • EXPERT
Hi, may be an issue with multifunction switch? The lower brake lites and turn signals use the same bulb filament, just not at the same time. The lower brake lites are wired through the turn signal/multifunction switch. If you want to use a testlite at rear brake lites, to check for voltage, one side is dark green, the side is yellow, for wiring color.
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Saturday, August 15th, 2020 AT 11:11 AM (Merged)
Tiny
VSCHROEDER2
  • MEMBER
  • 1998 CHEVROLET LUMINA
  • 4 CYL
  • FWD
  • AUTOMATIC
  • 130,000 MILES
Brake lights not working. Replaced brake light switch, bulbs and checked the fuse, still nothing. Any suggestions?
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Saturday, August 15th, 2020 AT 11:13 AM (Merged)
Tiny
JACOBANDNICKOLAS
  • EXPERT
Are you getting power to the switch?
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Saturday, August 15th, 2020 AT 11:13 AM (Merged)
Tiny
38LUMINA
  • MEMBER
On my lumina I had the same problem. It ended up being my ignition on the steering column. Got it fixed along with my 4ways light switch and they worked after that.
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Saturday, August 15th, 2020 AT 11:13 AM (Merged)
Tiny
JOHN WHEELER
  • MEMBER
  • 1998 CHEVROLET LUMINA
Electrical problem 6 cyl Front Wheel Drive Automatic

I changed the brake light switch at the pedal but I still have no lights. I also changed the bulbs at the same time. I do have the center light in the back window, but not the main brake. The parking lights work fine as well as the turn signals
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Saturday, August 15th, 2020 AT 11:13 AM (Merged)
Tiny
KEN
  • ADMIN
Hello,

This sounds like you have a turn signal switch that has gone bad. Here is a wiring diagram of the brake lights and a guide so you can do some testing to confirm the failure.

https://www.2carpros.com/articles/how-to-use-a-test-light-circuit-tester

Please run some tests and get back to us we are interested to see what it is.

Cheers, Ken
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Saturday, August 15th, 2020 AT 11:13 AM (Merged)
Tiny
MANDCVAUGHN
  • MEMBER
  • 1998 CHEVROLET LUMINA
Brakes problem
1998 Chevy Lumina Front Wheel Drive Automatic 190000 miles

I checked the fuses and the bulbs for my brake lights. I am not getting any light from the high mount brake light either. In the fuse box on the passenger side door it looks like a fuse may have shorted out but the fuse is good. I have had problems in the past week with the left turn signal but now that is working. I also checked the voltage running through that fuse and it cheked good. I do have an airbag but am I able to replace the turn signal switch without accidentally deploying that?
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Saturday, August 15th, 2020 AT 11:13 AM (Merged)
Tiny
INTERNETMECHANIC
  • MEMBER
Check the brake switch, and voltage to and from switch. Orange wire is voltage to the switch, hot all the time. White wire goes hot when switch is activated, carries voltage for brake lites. Switch should be under the dash, activated by brake pedal arm.
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Saturday, August 15th, 2020 AT 11:13 AM (Merged)
Tiny
MANDCVAUGHN
  • MEMBER
I found it! The previous owner must have tried to fix it before. The white wire had a jumper sodered into it. It looks like the wire had been accidentally cut. I fixed that with a proper jumper buut the brake lights are still not working.
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Saturday, August 15th, 2020 AT 11:13 AM (Merged)
Tiny
INTERNETMECHANIC
  • MEMBER
Is there voltage on the white wire? The high-mount brake lite, while it does get voltage from the brake switch, it is not wired the same as the lower brake lites. The lower brake lites are wired through the turn switch. Did you use a testlite on the bulb socket, brake switch activated. Did you check for voltage on the wiring colors already mentioned?
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Saturday, August 15th, 2020 AT 11:13 AM (Merged)
Tiny
RENEZ24
  • MEMBER
  • 1998 CHEVROLET LUMINA
  • 6 CYL
  • FWD
  • AUTOMATIC
  • 148,000 MILES
When I apply the brake pedal, the lights don't come on, replaced the bulbs and checked the fuse. Turn signals lights works and upper brake light also works. What else could be wrong?
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Saturday, August 15th, 2020 AT 11:13 AM (Merged)
Tiny
BLUELIGHTNIN6
  • EXPERT
Check for faulty brake light switch, under driver dash above brake pedal arm
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Saturday, August 15th, 2020 AT 11:13 AM (Merged)
Tiny
RENEZ24
  • MEMBER
I replaced the brake light switch, but still not working.
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Saturday, August 15th, 2020 AT 11:13 AM (Merged)
Tiny
BLUELIGHTNIN6
  • EXPERT
If brake switch, fuses and bulb are all good and high mount brake light works then suspect faulty turn signal (multi function) switch. Main brake lights run through turn signal switch, high mount brake light runs through separate circuit on a relay switch.
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Saturday, August 15th, 2020 AT 11:13 AM (Merged)
Tiny
MCOLLERAN
  • MEMBER
  • 1998 CHEVROLET LUMINA
  • 6 CYL
  • FWD
  • AUTOMATIC
  • 107,000 MILES
I have a 1998 Chev Lumina and the rear brake lights and turn signals dont work. The running lights in the rear are ok and the upper rear deck brake light works when you press the brake pedal, but not the rear. If you try to wire in the tail brake lights directly from the working deck brake light, the electrical system goes wacky, for example the door locks go up and down. Is the problem in the turn signal multi functional device or is the problem more serious? (The bulbs have been changed)
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Saturday, August 15th, 2020 AT 11:13 AM (Merged)

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